I don't know about you, but I have recently been trying to extract more productive hours out of the day. Between building our Church and my job (I work part-time and am a Bi-Vocational Pastor) I am constantly re-juggling and trying to maximize my productivity. On top of my work & church commitments I have some other projects that I am working on (MORE TO COME ON THIS SOON) I also strive to ensure that my family is not getting short circuited or sacrificed in the name of my pursuit of productivity. 

In light of all this, I decided to establish some new routines. Basically, trying to move things around in my schedule to make sure that everything is getting the appropriate amount of time! I 'm a big fan of both Carlos Whittaker & Jon Acuff and both of these guys are big proponents of the 5 AM start! My friend Brady, is also living proof and inspiration that this approach is not only effective, but really helps to maintain some balance when it comes to your family life. 

So... last night I grabbed my trusty iPhone, set a number of alarms, and mentally prepared myself to get up at 5 AM. Some of you may not know this, but during the first year of Engage City Church I actually managed the Starbucks here in Spruce Grove, and getting up at 5 AM was a regular part of my life, so I've done it before, and hey, I must be able to do it again right? 

This morning my alarm went off... I rolled over, hit snooze (I SET LIKE 5 ALARMS TO MAKE SURE I WOULD GET UP), and waited for the next alarm. I then repeated this process 4 more times, until all of my alarms had gone off, I wrestled within my head and my heart about all of the reasons why I should get up, and ultimately, my heavy eye lids won the internal struggle, and I dozed back to slip, waking up some 2 hours later. 

I FAILED - Day One was a failure before it even began. 

I slung my mopey self out of bed, feeling defeated, and I began to get ready to head to the office. That's when I heard it. Our normal family routine goes something like this. Our oldest son, Everett, usually wakes up naturally around the same time that I get up and get ready for work. When he wakes up, he hops out of bed, and hustles his 3 year old body down the hall, bursting into our room, climbing up onto our bed to wake us up, or visit with me as I get ready for work. That didn't happen this morning. 

We have one of those video monitoring systems for the boys, where we have a camera in each of the boys room, and a baby monitor control device in our room that cycles between the cameras in both boys rooms. Overnight, it goes into audio only mode until we turn on the screen, but it's a great little piece of technology and definitely an upgrade over the old "neighbourhood walkie talkie" style baby monitors. 

As I rolled out of bed I noticed some grunting come from one of the boys rooms. A few minutes earlier, I heard what I thought was Everett rolling out of bed, but I had written it off as he hadn't come running into our room yet. I continued to get ready until I heard it again, these little Tim Allan man grunts coming from what had to be Everett's room. I quietly walked down the hall and saw that the door was still closed, so I poked my head into Everett's room. 

"Daddy, I'm getting dressed!" 

The sight in front of me was hilarious. Mr. Everett was grunting and struggling to get his PJ shirt off, and his elaborate 3 year old mind had concocted a method of escape from the shirt that left him wrapped up like a patient in a straight jacket. My boy was growing up before my eyes. He already had put his pants on, backwards of course, but they were sweatpants, so no problem there! I gave Everett some advice and guided his first hand, so that he could learn to take his shirt off himself. As soon as he escaped his PJ shirt, he grabbed his new shirt, and put it on like a pro, he then ran down the hall, into our bedroom, declaring, "MOMMY I GOT DRESSED!"

This morning I failed. I set a goal and I failed at it miserably. This morning I succeeded. I got to witness a fun milestone, one that I certainly haven't got to experience before, but I succeeded. Things don't always go according to plan. We don't always hit our targets or our goals, but regardless, life is still happening around us. 

I was set to start the day in miserable fashion. I was beginning my day angry and disappointed in myself, until my toddler intercepted my self-pity, and painted a smile across my face. Yes, I failed, but this happy accident led to a moment of joy that changed my entire outlook on the day. Yes, I failed but, I've got tomorrow, and tomorrow I am going to do better. Yes, I failed, but today is going to be amazing, because though I missed one goal, I've already accomplished a handful of other things that I set out to accomplish. Today is a great day, because today is full of potential, and tomorrow has even more. 

There will always be hiccups and there will always be bumps in the road, but I'm not going to let those things dictate or control my future. Today, I choose to embrace my failure, and walk brightly into the future knowing that this thing is not going to define me today, tomorrow, or any day moving forward. 

Why don't we embrace our successes, move past our failures, and be thankful for the moments that we have stumbled upon. 
 

Brett Esslinger is a Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Pastor, Speaker, Leader, Writer whose life goal is to help people unlock their potential and fulfill their life's purpose. 

Follow Brett on Twitter, Instagram &Facebook: @brettesslinger and of course over on Snapchat at: brett.esslinger 

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